Norton Rose Fulbright, Toronto, Canada
The think tank is an invitation-only event exclusively for GRC professionals. It is free to attend and our unique format enables participants to network extensively, discuss, debate and dissect best practices and topical issues in the corporate governance world.
What makes our format so unique?
Our think tanks are far removed from the traditional conference set-up as the event consists of a series of panel sessions followed by roundtable discussions on select GRC issues. These interactive sessions are an opportunity to share experiences with and learn from other top-rated corporate governance professionals. All table discussions are confidential and none of the participants’ comments are attributed*. This allows attendees to talk freely and have frank, open discussions. *While the panel discussions may be quoted in editorial coverage of the event, all table discussions are confidential.
How do our roundtable discussions work?
Listen as seasoned GRC professionals discuss in detail their successful practices
Learn key take-aways that you can implement immediately in your own practice
Network with the best of the best in GRC
Breakfast and registration
Welcome and opening remarks
Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary Magazine
Walied Soliman, global chair, Canadian chair, Norton Rose Fulbright
FIRESIDE CHAT: Adapting to the latest policy changes and market trends
Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary Magazine
Maria Virginia Anzola, general counsel and corporate secretary, Ascendant Resources
PRESENTATION: The role of technology in corporate governance: Trends and their impact
Understand the big technological trends that are changing the nature of corporate governance, key challenges arising from digital transformation and how to best integrate technology into your shareholder engagement activities.
Lara Donaldson, director of regulatory and industry affairs, Computershare
PANEL: Dealing with activist investors: How are shareholder attitudes to activist investors changing?
Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary Magazine
Amy Freedman, chief executive officer, Kingsdale Advisors
Walied Soliman, global chair, Norton Rose Fulbright
Charles Whitburn, vice president and general counsel, Points
TABLE DISCUSSIONS: Dealing with activist investors
Lunch and networking
PRESENTATION: Biggest stories in Canada for 2019 and what it means for corporate governance
Susan Kushneryk, partner, Hansell McLaughlin Advisory Group
Q&A and DISCUSSION: How investor relations officers and corporate secretaries can work together effectively
Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary Magazine
Nizam Hasham, general counsel and assistant corporate secretary, Canadian Pacific Railway
PANEL: Building the board of the future: Aligning your board with shareholder and business needs
Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary Magazine
Christelle Gedeon, chief legal officer, Aphria
Helle Bank Jorgensen, chief executive officer and founder, Competent Boards
Jonathan Pinto, senior vice president and business head, D.F. King Canada, an AST Company
Final thoughts and next steps
Ben Ashwell, editor, Corporate Secretary Magazine
Maria Virginia Anzola
General counsel and corporate secretary
Ms. Anzola has over 20 years of experience advising companies in the extraction industry. In her role as General Counsel, Ms. Anzola provides leadership and direction on all legal matters involving Ascendant and its operations. As Corporate Secretary, she is responsible for all matters relating to the Board of Directors, its committees, and the overall implementation of corporate governance best practices. Prior to joining Ascendant in 2017, Ms. Anzola served as Assistant General Counsel for Primero Mining Corp, and prior to that she served as Senior Counsel for Hudbay Minerals Inc. In addition, Ms. Anzola served as Consultant to the Tax Group of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP for over two years. Prior to moving to Canada, Ms. Anzola spent 11 years in private practice in her home country of Venezuela, mostly advising international companies engaged in the oil and gas business. Ms. Anzola has been called to the BAR in Ontario and Venezuela and has an LL.M from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and from Osgoode Hall Law School.
Corporate Secretary Magazine
Ben Ashwell is the editor at Corporate Secretary Magazine, covering investor relations, governance, risk and compliance. Prior to this, he was founder and editor of Executive Talent, the global quarterly magazine from the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants. Before moving to the US, Ashwell was vice president and editor at Executive Grapevine, overseeing a daily news website, 10 annual supplements and HR Grapevine, the UK’s leading HR and talent management magazine.
Director of regulatory and industry affairs
As Director, Regulatory and Industry Affairs, Lara advocates on behalf of Computershare to influence key industry, legislative and regulatory developments that have the potential to impact Computershare clients and business strategy.
Lara is the President of the Securities Transfer Association of Canada (STAC), is past Chair of the STAC Legal and Regulatory Working Group, and is also on the board of the Securities Transfer Association (STA) in the United States. She is often called upon to speak at industry events on topics including Transfer Agent Proxy Processes and Proxy Reform, and Regulatory Amendments.
She began her career in the transfer agency industry more than 24 years ago, and has progressed through various roles, most recently holding the title of General Manager of Client Services, Central Region for Computershare Canada.
Chief executive officer
Amy joined Kingsdale in 2014 as an Executive Vice-President and became CEO in January 2017. A seasoned capital markets professional, with over 12 years of experience in investment banking, Amy is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Kingsdale Advisors with a focus on providing superior service and outstanding strategic advice to public company boards and management as they strive to enhance value for shareholders. Amy is also responsible for leading the growth initiatives and the thought leadership of the Kingsdale team.
She began her career at Morgan Stanley in New York as an Associate, Investment Banking where she spent approximately four years executing lead managed equity transactions and client coverage. After being promoted to Vice President, she moved back to Toronto with National Bank Financial. Her most recent position was Managing Director, Equity Capital Markets for Stifel where she spent eight years with the organization and its predecessors Thomas Weisel Partners as Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer for the Global Investment Bank, and Westwind Partners as a Director in Corporate Finance. In addition to her current role at Kingsdale, Amy is a director of Mandalay Resources Corporation.
Amy has extensive experience leading transaction management, positioning companies for success in the marketplace across a broad spectrum of industries and a deep understanding of capital markets. Select transaction and special situation experience includes acting for: Front Four & Sandpiper in their action against Granite REIT; PointNorth in their action against Liquor Stores; Sprott Asset Management in its $1 billion hostile bid for Central GoldTrust; Pacific Rubiales in a transaction contested by shareholder O’Hara Administration; TransCanada Corporation in its defense against Sandell Asset Management; Oxford Park in its ‘constructivist’ campaign at Extendicare; Wesdome Gold in its defense against Resolute Funds; Sherritt Corporation in its defense against Clarke Inc.; K2 against Dominion Diamond; Graeme Roustan against Performance Sports; and Orange Capital against Innvest REIT.
Amy has a JD MBA from the University of Toronto.
Chief legal officer
Dr. Christelle Gedeon, Chief Legal Officer has spent her entire career in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry which has positioned her as a leader in the cannabis industry. Prior to joining Aphria, Dr. Gedeon was a Partner at Fasken, a pre-eminent bay street firm in Toronto, where her practice focused on all aspects of regulated health products such drugs, devices, food, cosmetics and cannabis. She is sought after for her expertise in navigating product approvals and licensing, designing and implementing international clinical trials, facilitating national product launches and overall intellectual property portfolio management. Dr. Gedeon received her LL.B./B.C.L. from McGill University and holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Toronto. She is also a licensed trademark agent and is currently the Chair of the Canadian Association of Professionals in Regulatory Affairs.
Helle Bank Jorgensen
Chief executive officer and founder
Helle Bank Jorgensen is a sustainability, climate change, and ESG advisor with close to 30 years of experience helping global companies and investors turn sustainability into strong financial results. She has worked with hundreds of world-leading companies including IKEA, Nike, Shell, Unilever, Novo Nordisk and Vestas.
She developed the Competent Boards Certificate Program to help board members, executives and advisors to confidently identify, articulate and act upon the most material environmental, social and governance aspects of their business. The program has engaged several world-class business leaders like Paul Polman, former Unilever CEO, who calls it an “Incredible initiative.”
She serves on His Royal Highness Prince of Wales A4S Global Expert Panel, the Cornerstone Capital Global Advisory Council, the WBCSD Governance & Internal Oversight High-Level Advisory Group and is a judge for Ethical Corporation awards. Helle is a Board Facilitator for the UN Global Compact Board Program, a regular keynote speaker and author of many thought-leading articles and books.
Helle was the creator of the world’s first Green Account as well as the world’s first Integrated Report. She also developed the first holistic supply chain program and was the principal organizer for the CEO/Investor-network for Business Ethics and Non-Financial Reporting. She has received the 2019 Clean50 award. Helle has extensive experience providing strategic and operational guidance to all organizational functions, including advising at the C-suite and board level.
She is a State Authorized Accountant and Business Lawyer. She also holds a Master’s in Business Administration and Auditing.
Hansell McLaughlin Advisory Group
Susan Kushneryk is a partner at Hansell LLP and Government Relations Advisor at Hansell McLaughlin Advisory. Over more than fifteen years, Susan has developed a unique blend of experience in private practice and regulatory law and in government. She started her career in the litigation group at (what is now) Dentons LLP and at Torys LLP, where she represented clients in commercial and class action disputes with a focus on securities and other fraud. Susan then worked as enforcement counsel with each of the Ontario Securities Commission and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. As enforcement counsel, Susan worked closely with the investigators through their investigations before taking matters forward for prosecution. Her cases included a number of complex, multi-jurisdictional frauds. Most recently, Susan was Director of Policy in the office of the Attorney General of Ontario, where she provided advice and leadership across government ministries on a range of legal and policy matters. Prior to joining government, Susan served briefly on the board of the Technical Standards and Safety Authority.
Susan has appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada, at all levels of courts in Ontario, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, and the Federal Court of Canada, as well as before a number of tribunals including the Ontario Energy Board and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (now the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario). Susan has acted in some of the most significant capital markets related litigation in Canada, including as counsel for the regulators in multiple actions in connection with the asset-backed commercial paper collapse in 2008 and as counsel for an investment dealer in litigation arising from the collapse of Portus Alternative Asset Management Inc., one of the largest investment frauds in Canada. While at Queen’s Park, Susan worked with stakeholders and assisted with policy development within the Ministry of the Attorney General, with the Office of the Premier of Ontario and across ministries, and advised the Minister in connection with various pieces of important new legislation.
Susan has spoken frequently on issues regarding the investment industry and topical issues in securities and commercial litigation. Susan has also spoken on issues regarding government policy. In addition to her professional work, Susan has always been engaged in the community, including in politics at the national and provincial levels.
Susan Kushneryk obtained her LLB at the University of Toronto in 2000 and was admitted to the Ontario bar in 2002.
Senior vice president and business head
D.F. King Canada, an AST Company
Jonathan is a Senior Vice President of D.F. King Canada, an AST Company, located in the Toronto office. Jonathan is responsible for the Canadian D.F. King operations where he leads a team of experienced governance and financial professionals.
With many years of experience in capital markets, and high impact corporate roles, Jonathan has a thorough understanding of financial markets, public company reporting requirements, and a strong knowledge of corporate governance. From his work in investment banking and equity research at firms such as Citigroup and Scotia Capital, to his tenure at Manulife Financial in Investor Relations and Treasury, Jonathan has a solid background dealing with important stakeholders like investors, analysts and rating agencies as well as a meaningful understanding of emerging regulatory trends.
Prior to joining D. F. King Canada, Jonathan held the position of Vice President, Investor Relations at Genworth Canada. Having worked on numerous large equity, debt and advisory deals, Jonathan has a strong background in advising companies and solid transactional experience.
Jonathan holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University, an MBA (Finance) from the University of Windsor, and a Master of Laws (Business Law) from Osgoode Hall Law School.
Global chair, Canadian chair
Norton Rose Fulbright
Walied Soliman is global chair and Canadian chair of Norton Rose Fulbright. He is also co-chair of our Canadian special situations team, which encompasses Canada’s leading hostile M&A, shareholder activism and complex reorganization transactions. Over the past several years, Mr. Soliman has been involved in almost every major proxy battle in Canada, acting for both issuers and activists. He is widely regarded as one of the leading special situations practitioners in Canada. In addition, his practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, financings, corporate governance and structured products.
Mr. Soliman was the only lawyer recognized in the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine Power 50 list for 2017; designated as a “Star Lawyer” by Acritas in 2017 for ranking in the top 28 lawyers globally (over 5,000 lawyers) as selected by a panel of over 3,000 senior in-house counsel; was ranked as a leading Canadian corporate lawyer by both Chambers Canada and Lexpert Canada since 2016; was named one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada by Canadian Lawyer magazine in 2014; ranked by Best Lawyers in Canada since 2013; and was ranked as one of the Top 40 Lawyers under 40 in Canada by Lexpert magazine in 2009. Among other philanthropic endeavours, Mr. Soliman is a board member of the Toronto SickKids Hospital Foundation.
Vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary
Charles Whitburn is the Vice President & General Counsel at Points International and responsible for all legal, governance and regulatory matters. Working closely with Points’ leadership team and Board, Charles is a key contributor to strategic matters.
Charles joined Points in 2015. Prior to joining, Charles was Director, Legal Counsel with Yamana Gold in Toronto, and Counsel & Corporate Secretary with Clarke Inc. in Halifax. Before moving in-house, Charles practiced with Stikeman Elliott. Charles received a 2018 In-House Innovatio Award and was a finalist for a 2018 Canadian General Counsel Awards in the mid-market excellence category. In 2019, Charles received a Lexpert Zenith Award, which celebrate change agents and thought leadership in the Canadian legal community.
Charles has a B.A. from St. Francis Xavier University and an LL.B. from Queen’s University. Charles is called to the bar in Ontario and Nova Scotia and is a Certified In-House Counsel.Canada.
Each think tank participant is someone with an established track record and a strategic GRC role within his or her company. Attendees included:
|Company||Job Title||Company||Job Title|
|Source Energy Services||Advisor, IR & Corporate Governance||Norton Rose Fulbright||Global Chair; Canadian Chair|
|Capital Power Corporation||AGC & Corporate Secretary||Corby Spirit and Wine||Law Clerk|
|Teranga Gold||Assistant Corporate Secretary||FinanceIt||Legal & Compliance Coordinator|
|The Co-operators||AVP Governance & Corporate Secretary||Greater Toronto Airports Authority||Legal Counsel & Corporate Secretary|
|Kingsdale||CEO||New Gold||General Counsel, EVP, CS|
|Competent Boards||CEO & Founder||Payments Canada||Manager, Committee Oversight|
|Kingsdale||CFO||LAWPRO||Manager, CS & Services|
|Aurora Cannabis||CLO & Corporate Secretary||Diligent||Principal, Sr. Gov. Solutions Advisor|
|Kingsdale||COO||Linamar Corporation||Senior Counsel|
|Cervus Equipment||Corporate Counsel||RBC||Senior Counsel & Asst Secretary|
|Aviva Canada||Corporate Secretary||Scotiabank||Senior Legal Counsel|
|Golden Star Resources||Corporate Secretary||First Capital Realty||SVP, General Counsel & CS|
|Ontario Pension Board||Corporate Secretary||Sherritt International||SVP, General Counsel & CS|
|RBC||Counsel & Assistant Secretary||EC capital||SVP, General Counsel & CS|
|Bunge Limited||Deputy General Counsel & Secretary||Laurentian Bank||SVP, Legal Affairs & CS|
|Mandalay resources||Director, Corporate Affairs & Corporate Secretary||Osisko Mining||VP & Corporate Secretary|
|George Weston||Director, Corporate Secretariat||Sun Life||VP, AGC & Corporate Secretary|
|Cameco Corporation||Director, Legal Services, Governance & Assistant CS||Shopify||VP, Assistant General Counsel|
|Kingsdale||EVP, Communication Strategy||Kingsdale||VP, Governance Advisory|
|Kingsdale||EVP, Governance Advisory||Clearwater Seafoods||VP, Legal & Corporate Secretary|
|Canadian Pacific Railway||General Counsel & Assistant Corporate Secretary||Brookfield Asset Management||VP, Legal & Regulatory|
|Ascendant Resources||General Counsel & Corporate Secretary||Northview Apartment REIT||VP, Legal & Corporate Secretary|
|CT REIT||General Counsel & Corporate Secretary||Kirkland Lake Gold||VP, Legal & Corporate Secretary|
|Pason Systems||General Counsel & Corporate Secretary||Capstone Mining||VP, Legal, Risk & Governance and CS|
|Tourmaline Oil||General Counsel & Corporate Secretary||Kingsdale||VP, Operations|
|Street Capital Bank of Canada||General Counsel & Corporate Secretary||Air Canada||VP, Secretary|
|Corby Spirit and Wine||General Counsel, Corporate Secretary & VP||LAWPRO||VP, Underwriting & CS|
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Norton Rose Fulbright is a global law firm. We provide the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 4000 lawyers and other legal staff based in more than 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.
Recognized for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. Through our global risk advisory group, we leverage our industry experience with our knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide our clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.
Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.
Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss verein, helps coordinate the activities of Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. Norton Rose Fulbright has offices in more than 50 cities worldwide, including London, Houston, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Sydney and Johannesburg. For more information, see nortonrosefulbright.com/legal-notices.
Computershare (ASX: CPU) is a global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, mortgage servicing, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications. We also specialize in corporate trust, bankruptcy, class action and a range of other diversified financial and governance services.
Founded in 1978, Computershare is renowned for its expertise in high integrity data management, high volume transaction processing and reconciliations, payments and stakeholder engagement. Many of the world’s leading organizations use us to streamline and maximize the value of relationships with their investors, employees, creditors and customers.
Computershare is represented in all major financial markets and has over 12,000 employees worldwide.
For more information, visit computershare.com.
Governance Professionals of Canada (GPC) is an association focused on promoting good governance in Canada. As a principal advocate for the governance community, we offer a distinct, unified voice for governance professionals in Canada. Through timely and valuable information on recent changes and developments, GPC delivers unparalleled thought leadership through education and networking opportunities. We provide resources, best practices, tools and strategies to elevate the governance skillset, focused on an organization’s overall success, accountability and integrity. This professional association is for individuals across all industries and sectors, whose duties are principally tied to the corporate governance, ethics, risk, legal and compliance functions.
Our Services Include: Strategic & Defensive Advisory, Governance Advisory, Environmental and Social (E&S) Advisory, Compensation Advisory, Communications, Proxy Solicitation, Depositary Agent, Voting Analytics, Information Agent & Debt Services, Asset Reclamation, M&A and Creative Services.
For more information about Kingsdale Advisors click here.
Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a leading global provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services. Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables customers to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today’s global capital markets. As the creator of the world’s first electronic stock market, its technology powers more than 90 marketplaces in 50 countries, and 1 in 10 of the world’s securities transactions. Nasdaq is home to approximately 3,900 total listings with a market value of approximately $13 trillion. To learn more, visit: http://business.nasdaq.com
AST Trust Company (Canada) is a full-service, tech-enabled professional services firm that helps companies and security holders across North America maintain momentum through the use of secure corporate data, analytics, advisory services, and a strategic approach to every interaction.
AST and its affiliates and divisions, including D.F. King Canada, are dedicated to supporting clients throughout their organization’s evolution. From IPOs to specialized transactions, activist investors to M&A support, we help companies streamline operations and increase efficiencies. We lead the industry with a comprehensive portfolio that includes transfer agent and registrar services, corporate governance, proxy and ownership services, equity plan solutions, corporate trust and structured financial services.
For more information, please click here.
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